Posts Tagged ‘Monet’

Avalanche II

April 26, 2015

What a surprise awaited me when I opened the blinds to my living room Saturday morning and looked out into my back yard. The night before, I was at the Kimbell Art Museum, and they rushed us underground to avoid a tornado threat. I got home well after dark and didn’t think of checking my back yard, totally unaware of what was lying there to greet me the next morning. Crap. I called TXU to tell them there was a powerline underneath the tree. They wanted to know if I lost power? No. Were there sparks flying? No.Then they would get there when they could. Not yesterday, and not today either, apparently. So meanwhile, I get to look out at this titanic corpse of a tree that fills my entire back yard until they deal with the power line. Then I get to hire a crew to cut it up and haul it out.

Choosing to stay home the entire day, JUST IN CASE THEY CAME, I began reclaiming the rooms of my house that were set in disarray from my hauling out art work and furniture for last week’s festival. I don’t know how I manage this, but I trash out my house every time I get ready for an art festival, with all the matting, shrinkwrapping, packaging, packing and loading. Then when I return, everything just gets dumped back into the rooms, and I usually walk around it for a week before I get so sick of seeing it that I finally set to work tidying, and reclaiming my special work spaces.

Motherwell Room

Motherwell Room

Most of my art work is stored in the room I like to call my Motherwell Room. Robert Motherwell’s blend of artistic prowess with scholarly erudition has always had ways of motivating me to learn more, to be more. Thus, I have this room set up with all my Motherwell books, as well as a table for making art, and most of my unhanged art work arranged around the walls and stored in the walk-in closet.

Motherwell Room

Motherwell Room

I also reserve a corner of that room for my special reading. Saturday was given to a day of reading and painting.

Beginnings of a New Painting

Beginnings of a New Painting

It’s been awhile since I’ve sketched or painted railroad subjects. Here is a Union Pacific caboose I photographed a few years ago in the historic Handley neighborhood of east Fort Worth. I have a railroad series in mind that was inspired by some things I’ve read recently from Proust concerning the series paintings of Claude Monet. We’ll see how it all shakes out.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

An Artful DayThrough the Eyes of a Child

March 15, 2013

After a week of making art, I was given a luxurious opportunity today to leave the studio and enjoy someone else’s art for a change.  A former student of mine invited me to join her family and view art work from the hand of her first-grade daughter, on display in a public venue.  I have had the privilege over the last couple of years to witness this young girl’s artistic explorations, by way of digital images sent to me.  But today I actually beheld her work in the original, along with a host of elementary school pieces in the display.  The freshness and originality of vision just took my breath away.  I had experienced joy before, seeing photos of her creating art work in her home on Saturday mornings, or during inclement weather.  But I was not prepared for what I saw today, and was touched deeply by the flicker of pride lighting her countenance, as she saw her work displayed prominently.

The entire display was magnificent.  Funding for the visual arts in Texas public schools is very slim, and given grudgingly, unlike funding for sports or performing arts.  But these restricted funds have not been able to amputate the spirit, or truncate the effectiveness of dedicated public school elementary art teachers.  Though often relegated to pushing an art cart up and down the corridors, from classroom to classroom, restricting students to once-a-week art sessions, the history and culture of the visual arts is still poured into these young spirits, and it manifests itself in these public displays.  I am a teacher of art history in a public high school, and I know it was no fluke to witness echoes of Matisse, Van Gogh, Warhol, Monet and Kahlo seething on the surfaces of these drawings, paintings and mixed-media endeavors.  These young spirits have been given the opportunity to know firsthand the  fullness and felicity of a well-rounded life that the visual arts make possible.

When I was a boy, I didn’t quite understand the motto carved over one of the portals of the Saint Louis Art Museum:



Now, in my later years, I feel it more than ever before, and this young artistic spirit today renewed that sentiment.  Hats off to her teacher, the other elementary art teachers and willing students of that school district.  May others capture your vision.

Thank you for reading.

A Second Attempt at Monet-Style Water Lilies

May 8, 2012

Return to Monet’s Water Lilies

Returning to work on Monday was difficult, following a three-day weekend packed with activity.  I indulged in plein air watercolor, fly fishing for bass, and picking guitars and singing with good friends.  Now, it is back to work, and grades are due. (Ugh).

I am posting my work-in-progress of a lily pad-infested pond in Athens, Texas, two hours east of where I reside.  A dear retired teacher friend of mine from long ago invited me out last weekend to take a stab at painting this scene.  I was invited back this weekend for an extended stay that included great conversation, music, fly fishing, fabulous food and the best wine.  My heart is still filled with gladness at every memory.

On this trip, I arrived early enough in the morning to see the water lilies in full bloom.  The white blossoms totally transformed the environment as I surveyed the wondrous scene.  I also enjoyed adding the new colors to my palette–Antique Green, Permanent Rose, Quinacridone Red, Winsor Blue and Transparent Yellow.  A new dynamic is beginning to emerge in my color schemes, and I cannot wait to “road test” this new palette when I begin the Paint Historic Waxahachie event, only weeks away now.  Before long, I could have a considerable body of plein air watercolor sketches to peruse, review and critique.  I want to go in a new direction this summer, and have a couple of ideas cooking already, but I am still undecided.

Thanks for reading.